Dr. Lunthita Duthely CEITR research fellow and UOP alumni is awarded an NIH grant.

Dr. Lunthita Duthely CEITR research fellow and UOP alumni is awarded an NIH grant.

December 10, 2018

Lunthita Duthely, University of Phoenix (UOP) 2015 graduate in educational leadership (EdD) was awarded a National Institute of Health (NIH) KL2 Grant (Oct), a 2-year Mentored Research grant, which encompasses research study, research education, and mentorship.  The award includes $32,500 per year of research support plus 75% annual salary.  In addition, Dr. Duthely was invited to participate in a 10-day health disparities research workshop at the University of Miami CLaRO Summer Institute (7/27-8/5).  Invited speakers included NIH Program officers and a variety of US researchers focused on health disparities.  

Dr. Duthely is an alumni member and research fellow at the UOP Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR) and a faculty member at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.  The title of Dr. Duthely’s grant application was “A Multi-Lingual, Culturally-Competent mobile Health Intervention to Reduce Medical Mistrust, Stigma, and Improve Treatment Adherence among Women Living with HIV/AIDS” The KL2 grants are intended to support newly trained clinicians as they prepare for a successful research career

Dr. Duthely speaks and writes on the connections between well-being and multiple psychological and social outcomes, including workplace success and better academic outcomes for students.  She explained ‘My interest in the mind-body, or, as I prefer to think of it, the mind-body-heart connection, goes back to 1981, when I was first introduced to the practice of meditation’.  Putting this philosophy into practice, Dr. Duthely began running, and has completed more than two-dozen marathons and three multi-day races. The longest distance she ran was 527 miles over 14 days.  She clarified the longest distance run ‘was the summer prior to my first year of university studies as a science major, interested in pursuing a career in medicine’.

Dr. Duthely added ‘The interest in meditation was then solidified in 1990, when I became a regular practitioner of the ‘Path of the Heart’ meditation techniques, founded by Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), a meditation master whose philosophy encompasses the importance and integration of fitness of the entire self—from the physical to the spirit—through physical activity, creative endeavors, and the regular practice of meditation.’ 

Dr. Duthely has travelled to over 30 countries, involved in different ventures related to well being, at the individual level and at the public level.  She commented, ‘On the one hand, people are people, the heart is the heart, and regardless of language or culture, all people respond to the ‘heart’— compassion, self-giving, inner peace, and the like.  Some cultures, like in Japan, where I collected some retrospective data (recently published) and prospective data (presented, unpublished) with adolescents (secondary school students), or on the island of Bali, Indonesia, that aspect of the human spirit—in Japan it’s called ‘kokoro’—you feel it walking down the streets in certain places—certain countries.  On the other hand, the word ‘shanti’ in India, for example, has much richer meaning than the English word ‘peace’

The travel and work in Japan led to an international collaborative and creative effort.  Dr. Duthely, collaborated with Harashita Sunaoshi, Waseda University, Japan and Olga Villar-Loubet, University of Miami, USA to develop a book chapter published by the International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology (IACCP). The book chapter was the culmination of work derived from Dr. Duthely’s dissertation and began with poster and speaking presentations in August 2016 at the 23rd IACCP conference in Nagoya Japan. The follow up book chapter, which was not part of the conference proceedings, was accepted for publication by IACCP. 

Dr. Duthely commented on some of the differences and similarities between cultures.  She mentioned that in ‘measuring gratitude’ (unpublished data from Japan), there was a lot of back and forth with my Japanese collaborator when translating the instructions, because expressing gratitude is so much engrained into the culture from a very early age’.

Finally, Dr. Duthely commented on the shared human value of happiness as an element of wellbeing.  ‘Another universal principal is that everyone—from youth to adults—is looking for happiness.  Cross-culturally, there may be some differences— for example the degree to which emotions are expressed outwardly, or cultural ‘personalities’—such as collectivist societies (Asia) or individualistic societies (North American)—but everyone wants to be happy!’

 

 

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